Gunsmoke (1955–1975): Season 17, Episode 21 - Yankton - full transcript

When wealthy Wil Donvan's daughter and cowboy Yankton fall in love with each other, the young woman's classy European born mother wants to put a stop to the romance.

Announcer: Gunsmoke, starring
James Arness as Matt Dillon.

Your bet, mister.

Twenty dollars.

Make it thirty.

Your turn, cowboy.

We'll, just, you know,
make forty dollars.

You said no limit, right?

That's right.

Right. Okay, there's
my forty dollars,

and I'm going to raise it...

six hundred.

But you can't raise six hundred.

You know we can't
cover a bet like that.

You made the rules.

It's going to cost you
six hundred dollars.

- Well...
- Well...

Well, this was a nice friendly
game when it started out,

wasn't it?

It's still friendly.

Prices just went up, that's all.

Oh, hold on there a minute.

No, I was just
reaching for my wallet.

Uh, five thousand.

I'm sorry to have to
clean you out like that, son.

Oh, never like to
leave a man broke.

Buy yourself a drink.


Guess I tangled
with the wrong fella.

I guess you did.

Who is he?

Will Donavan.

Where'd he get money like that?

Well, there's a lot more
where that came from.

He's got the biggest
spread in this part of Kansas.

Rich, huh?


Is that the first time anybody's
beat you at your own game?

No, ma'am.

But no man's ever
beaten me twice.

Well, I guess I connived
myself right into a corner.

I got no horse, got no money,
and I got no place to stay.

Sure could use a job.

Well, I guess I could use
somebody to help clean up at night.



Ma'am, I'm awfully
good with a deck of cards.

Oh, I know.




Oh, Emma.


A good day to be
sitting in front of the fire.

What are you reading there?

Just a book of poems.


Any luck with those strays?


No, but I had a
little luck with poker.

Mother's been wondering
what happened to you.

- She wants to talk to you.
- Mm.

It's important, Papa.

You've been gone for three days.

Most of it in a saloon?

You know, whiskey gets blamed
for a lot of things it never causes.

I missed you, Papa.

How you and I ever
hatched something like that,

I'll never know.

Emma and I are going to Europe.

What did you say?

We've been talking
about it for weeks.

Well then, why haven't I
heard about it before now?

Because we both knew
precisely how you would react.

It seemed wiser to go through
the explosion only once.

How long do you
intend to be gone?

If Emma likes it as
much as I think she will,

four or five months.

Oh, no. No, no. You're
not going to do that to me.

You are not going to take Emma
away from me for four or five months.

Will, stop thinking of
yourself, for one moment.

Emma's lonely here. She's
almost twenty years old.

It's time she saw something of life
besides cattle breeding and trail drives.

Well, she never said anything
to me about being lonely.

You know Emma.

She wouldn't say
anything to hurt you.

But she's terribly
excited about this trip.

And I want her to see
the sort of life I once knew.

Theatre, and art, music,

gentlemen with at least a
nodding acquaintance with etiquette.


A bunch of fancy
dudes in starched collars,

Sunday manners.

Sunday manners are
not the mark of a man.

Dodge is her home.

This is where she belongs.

Dodge is a trail town.

It's a haven for drovers and
gamblers and saddle tramps.

She's entitled to see how
the rest of the world lives.

Are you telling me that Emma
went along with this scheme

without any pushing from you?

She did.

If you don't
believe me, ask her.

You'd better start that broom moving
and get them cuspidors cleaned out.

Miss Kitty'll be
here in a minute.

Yeah. Uh, hey, Sam,
who are those ladies?

Oh, that's Will
Donavan's family.

His wife and his daughter, Emma.

Oh, my, they don't seem
to go together, do they?

I mean, Mrs. Donavan and him.

She sure is a beautiful woman.

And a very elegant lady.


Well, what... what
about his daughter?

What about her?

I mean, has she got
any strings on her?

Forget it, Yankton.

You'll never be able
to get close to her.

Mrs. Donavan will see to that.

Oh, I guess you never heard of
divide and conquer, have you, Sam?

Turn around.

I don't like it, Mother.

It's too... frilly.

I'd like to look at some others.

Mother, I know you
got a lot of things to do.

Why don't you go to the
train station and get the tickets,

and I'll meet you
there in about an hour.

All right, Emma.

I think this may be
more to your liking.

It's pretty.

I'll get him for you.

Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.


Gideon, how'd you
get away like that?

Would you like me to help?

Thank you.

Where to?

I'm to meet my
mother at the station.

You going somewhere?


Oh. Today?


Next week.

Oh, you got me scared
there for a moment.

You know who I am, don't you?

Oh, yeah, I know who you are.

You're... You're
Donavan's daughter.

Oh, your pappy, well he...
He beat my britches off

in a poker game the other day.

Did he?

This your way of
getting back at him?

Now what's that
supposed to mean?

I'm a long way from being
the prettiest girl in Dodge.

Usually, when a man
starts to pay attention to me,

it's 'cause I'm Will
Donavan's daughter.


there's all kinds of pretty.

I mean, I... I knew a girl once.

Now, boy I tell you,
she was sure pretty.

She had black hair,

kinda shiny, like a crow's
wing when the sun hits it.

Eyes that just made a man
stutter when she put 'em to work.

But she stopped being
pretty to me because, uh,

well, I got to know her.

The train station's that way.

Get up.


- Now what?
- It's Emma.

She rode off just
after breakfast.

She should have
been back hours ago.

Maybe that old buggy broke down.
I'd better go see if I can find her.

I think I know where she is.

There was a young man in Dodge.

I saw him with Emma yesterday.

You mean to tell me that our
Emma's found herself a fella?

This boy's a saddle tramp.

He rode in a couple of days ago
and nobody knows anything about him.

Except you, huh?

And you know all
about everything.

Where Emma is concerned,

I make it my business to know.

All right.

- I'll go find her.
- Will.

If she's still seeing that boy,

I want it ended.

Ha. Hyah!

Well, when am I
going to see you again?

Do you want to?

Boy, Emma, you sure haven't
been around men, have you?

I grew up on a
ranch filled with men.

I don't mean that kind of stuff.

I mean courting... you
know, picnicking, sweet talk,

that kind of man stuff.

Guess not.

Well, how long are you going
to keep running and hiding?

I'm not running. I'm not hiding.

My father.

When? When?


Hello, Papa.

You mother's been fretting.

I'm sorry.

I expect you'd
better drive on home.

Aren't we riding back together?

Not this time, ladybug.

Oh, uh, Hank,

why don't you go buy
yourself a beer, huh?

You fixing to buy
me another drink?

I might.

Sit down.

I want you to stay
away from my daughter.

You go find yourself
somebody else.

Now you can ride
over to Sperryville.

There are a lot of
nice ladies over there.

All you got to do is,
well, give them a bath

and spruce them up a little bit.

Find yourself a real
friendly companion.

Sounds like you've made
that ride yourself, Mr. Donavan.

If you keep on seeing Emma, I
am going to blow a hole in you

big enough for
an eagle to nest in.

Well now, that's
a pretty big hole.

Mr. Donavan, first off I
want to tell you I like Emma.

She makes me feel good.
And I make her feel good.

Now, what is wrong that?

You know, it's... It's
much better me than...

some Frenchie
with slick backed hair

and some rose stuck
in his buttonhole.

You know that.

Tell me something.

Besides playing
poker and swamping,

what else do you do?

Oh, I do just about everything.

Well, what do you do best?

I haven't done that yet.

What do you do most?

Oh, cow-punching,

broke some horses,
did some drovin'.

But I was only marking time.

Till you find what you do best?


Oh, uh...

I just want to tell you
one thing, young man.

If you... if you
ever hurt her...

Mr. Donavan, that's
not part of the plan.

I thought you were
going to put a stop to it.

Henrietta, I'm busy right now.

Emma is still seeing him.

Yeah, I know.

You know?

Of course I know.

And if he's what she wants,
why don't you just let her be?

But you don't know
anything about him.

Oh, yes, I do.

So you have talked to him.


I say he's after her
for one reason only.

She's your daughter.

And in Kansas, that
means money and power.

Henrietta, anytime that
a man wants a woman,

you think he's up to no good.

Now, Yankton wants Emma
like any man wants a woman.

I say you give him enough money
and he'll ride away and never look back.

Well, now, why
don't we go find out?

It's open.

Mr. Donavan.

What are you doing over here?

Well, my wife knows
about you and Emma.

How'd she find out?

When my wife puts her mind to a thing,
she's got ways that man never dreamed of.

She also thinks that, uh...

for the right price, you
might get out of Emma's life.

She also figure that price?

Uh-huh. Five hundred dollars.

Yeah, that... that's
a lot of money.

Well, it sure is for a fella that's
cleaning spittoons for a living.

I guess you're right.

But I don't plan on cleaning
spittoons much longer.

Ah, good boy.

- Mr. Donavan?
- Yeah?

You don't happen to have that
five hundred in cash, do you?

Be gone by morning.

He took it?


He took it.

Hyah! Get!

Hey, you're leaving town.

I am?

We're just gonna make sure
you don't change your mind.

All right.

That's enough.

What's going on?

- All right.
- All right.

I started it, Marshal.

You mean you took the
three of them on by yourself?

I know it don't seem too brainy,

but I told them they
smelled like sheep.

All right, you
three out of here.

I'm going to get you up to
Doc, have him take a look at you.

Yankton, you ran
him off, didn't you?


We were to meet at
the river this morning.

He wasn't there.

Then I rode into Dodge.

Nobody has seen him since
last night... Including Miss Russell.

There's something
I've got to try to explain.


Hi, Emma.

What happened?

Oh, I... I fell
down some stairs.

Looks pretty bad, huh?

I don't know.

Some people might think
it was an improvement.

Come here.

I... I saw this matched pair when
I rode through Hays a while back.

Well, I think it's the
best rig I ever seen.

They're yours, you know.

Pretty fast looking
rig there, young fella.

Looks like that'd go for
about five hundred, huh?

You got a good eye, Mr. Donavan.

Five hundred dollars'd be exact.

A fella tried to pull a bluff on
me, but he overplayed his hand.

Hey, why don't you go try it?

Love to.

Well, don't just stand
there, Yankton. Get in.

Hey, bucko, you get her
back by dark, you hear me?



you put Pete and the
boys on him, didn't you?

He'll hurt her.

Did you see the look
on her face just now?

He'll hurt her.


But I've always had a kind of a feeling
that you had to be throwed a few times

before you could
learn how to ride.


Where's Mother?

Oh, well I haven't
seen her this afternoon.

Did you enjoy the ride?

It was wonderful.

We chilled a bottle of
champagne in the creek,

then we drank a toast.

We're going to be married, Papa.

A mite soon, don't you think?

Maybe, but that's what I want.

And how you two
figure to make out?

We'll make out.

Yankton's not
worried, so I'm not.

He came to town with
nothing but a poker stake,

and he lost that.

How important is it, Papa?

Mother's a beautiful
woman, and you got money,

land, cattle.

You two haven't even
shared the same bedroom

for as long as I can remember.

Papa, I'm sorry.

That's all right, pretty
girl. You told the truth.

That's what I always
taught you to do.

But your mother is not
going to take this very lightly.

I mean, she had her
heart kind of set on Europe.

She thinks there's an answer
there for everything, you know.

You're sure that it's
got to be Yankton, huh?

I'm sure.

Mr. Donavan.

Hi, Sam.

Uh, I'm sorry, sir,
but we're closed.

Yeah, I know,
but it's all right.

I just want to talk to
Yankton for a minute.

Yankton, lock up after me.

Emma tells me you're
talking about getting married.

Well now, how do you
intend to look after her?

I'm working on it.

You stop swishing
that broom around.

Emma's my daughter,

and I can't for the life
of me figure out why

you're chasing her so hell bent.

I figure you like a little
lightning in your women.

Probably had your share.

Emma don't know very much
about, uh, womanly things.

And it don't take me to tell you
that she ain't no raving beauty,

except to me.


Because she's the
daughter of Will Donavan.

And Will Donavan happens to
be the richest man in these parts.

Suppose I turn her out?

Oh, you won't.

She's plain, all
right, but she's yours.

So you're going to marry
Emma and get rich, huh?

Well, I want to be rich.

This is a shortcut.

You stop...

Come on.

Come on!

What's going on
here? That's enough!

Donovan: All right,
you tell him that.

Stay down, boy.

He'll kill you.

He may kill me...

he's not... He's not
going to beat me.

Hey, please, son, stay down.

You've got the courage of
a lion and the guts of a bear.

Everything it takes
to run what I've built.

Just too bad you're
no damn good.

Oh, Emma?

I'd like to talk to you.

About Yankton.

You and I were talking yesterday
about your marrying Yankton,

and then I went into town,

and I talked to him
about the reasons.

I... hate to tell you this,

Emma, but the reason is...

that your daddy's rich.

I mean, he just came
right out and said it.

The truth is...

he doesn't love you.


You don't know what
you're talking about.


Yankton is... hopelessly...

head over heels in love with me.

Well, I think that's all right.

You'd better keep those ribs
bandaged for a couple of days.

You'll feel a lot
better, I'll tell you that.

All right.

You know, you haven't
exactly been making fast friends

since you've been in Dodge.

Second time in a week.

You keep this up, you're
going to look like a side of pork.

I don't understand it.

Me, I'm friendly to a fault.

I never seen so many
hostile people in one town.

What do I owe you, Doc?

Some piece of mind.

Take care of yourself.


Thanks, Doc.

It was Papa.

Your old man hits
like a mule kicks.


Didn't he tell you?

Well, he don't like the idea that
I'm marrying you for your money.

It is a pretty provincial
attitude, isn't it?

Your Pa don't know it yet, but, well,
you might even say he's fighting it,

but I'm going to be
his right-hand man.


Look, Miss Emma, all my life

I've had nothing but my rear
in a saddle and a hollow belly.

No more.

I understand.

Oh, you understand nothing.

I remember one time in
the Dakotas I was starving.

I saw this pack of wolves
bring down a buffalo.

Me and the vultures, we were the
ones that just got to pick the bones,

that's all.

Well, your pa,
he learned it too.

The way may be different,
but the lesson was all the same.

A man has to learn
to travel with the grass.

Were you traveling with the
grass when they sent you to prison?

Well, how did you
know about that?

My mother hired a Pinkerton man.

Well, what else
did she tell you?

That you burned
down a man's house.


Oh, I don't know.

It happened
somewhere in Colorado.

I hitched up with this old
prospector who struck gold.

He was a... He
was a good old man.

I really took a liking to him.

That old man, boy, all he had was
that claim and a tumble-down shack.

Could have been the end of
his rainbow, except for Farns,

who was a big
man in those parts.

Farns heard that
that patch of land

was coughing up gold
and he wanted it, so...

He tried to get it from the old
man, but the old man, he said no.

So one night Farns and a couple of
his hands rode in, torched the shack,

and then killed him.

So you rode over to Farns'
place and burned him out.

Yeah, and I also
stampeded his cattle.

'Course, the only difference
was the house was a mansion

and the cattle was
a thousand head.

I spent a year and a
half in prison for that.

Miss Emma...

go on home.

Go on. Go on. Go on home.

I'm no bargain for you.

You're going to do a lot better
somewhere in Paris or Boston,

or wherever you're going.

Get my horse and saddle back,

and I'm going to be in
the next town by morning.

I can quit
complicating your life.


What am I going to do with you?


All this noble talk about giving
me up and riding out of my life.

Does the prospect of getting
more than you bargained for

really scare you that much?

What are you talking about?

Yankton, you're not a fool.

You know very well
what I'm talking about.

Boy, you got a lot
of your papa in you.


Got a lot of surprises
in store for you, Yankton.

But right now I'm going to
make you finish what you started.

Push that lump out of
your throat and say it.

Now look, Miss Emma.

Say it, Yankton.

Or I'll walk away from
here, and I won't walk back.

All right, all right, all right.

I love you.

Is that what you wanted to hear?

Well, it... it isn't a question
of what I wanted, Yankton,

it's a question of what
the situation requires.

Now that it's over,
don't you feel better?

It doesn't hurt as bad
as I thought it would.

There, you see?

Hey, where... where you going?

There's going to be
a wedding, Yankton.

Girl's got a lot to do.


Where the devil have you been?

Your mother's been worried
sick about you for two days.

Sorry, Papa.

We're married.

Too bad you didn't
invite your daddy.

I would like to have been there.

We wanted to, Papa.

We couldn't tell you
without telling Mother.

I just couldn't face that.

Yeah. Well, here, let me
kiss the bride, at least, huh?

I'm so happy, Papa.

Yeah, I can see that.

Let me get one thing straight.

I want this place
overrun with Donavans.

I want a whole
parcel of grandsons.

What if I give you all those
grandsons? What do I get?

Well, for starters you're going to
get a job as an ordinary ranch hand.

Just like I did.

And you're going to
work from sunup till dusk,

and you're going to
put your tail in the saddle

till you think you
was born in there.

And then if you do good, I
just might make you foreman.

From there?

It takes a long time to
climb a mountain, boy.

I want to climb it.

All right.

You got saddle up a horse,
it'll take about three days,

but that's the beginning.

Papa, you can't go now.
We got to tell Mother.

That won't be necessary.

Mother, I'm sorry.

Emma, you're your
father's daughter.

Don't be a hypocrite.

Never lie, never cheat,
and never apologize.

Isn't that the
way it goes, Will?

Mother, you don't know Yankton.

I don't know him?

My dear, I've been
married to him for 23 years.

Why do you think I've been
fighting to keep you away from him?

Just because he's a trail
hand with no prospects?

That's all your father
was when I met him.

Emma, don't you see?

He's Will Donavan
all over again.

Same good looks, same
brashness, same courage,

same impossible charm.

Mother, I don't see
what's wrong with that.

Of course you don't.

Neither did I.

But you see, Emma,
Yankton, like your father,

is a man's man.

There's no place in
his life for a woman.

He understands horses and land
and how to dominate other men.

What he doesn't know the first
thing about is the needs of a woman.

That is not fair, Henrietta.

You shut up, Will.

You've had your say for 23 years,
and now, before I leave this house,

I'm going to have mine.

You could have been
a great man, Will.

There's no limits to where
you could have gone.

And it's all been a waste,

and we're the poorer for it.

But I could have
lived with that waste

because you were happy
building this little insulated world.

I could even live with the fact
that you'd be gone on trail drives

for four and five months at a time
when I heard not one word from you,

not knowing whether
you were alive or dead.

Trampled under the hooves
of those damned cattle

or drowned in
some swollen river.

But I lived with
that, too, Will.

What I couldn't take...

is what happened
when you came back.

When you saw the inside of every bar
and every tavern between here and Hays.

When you unwound with poker
games that lasted up to 36 hours...

and the girls in Center City,

who could be bought
for the price of a heifer...

saw you before I did.

And I even lived
with that, Will.

But I made up my mind that
Emma was not going to have to.

There's a whole world out there

beyond the fences of this ranch

that you and she
know nothing about.

There are the thrones of
kings and the follies of princes

and the Sistine Chapel
and the... and the Acropolis,

and the opera at Milan.

That's what I wanted
you to see, Will.

That's what I wanted you
to taste and to understand.

And when I realized
you never would...

I hoped and I dreamed and I prayed
that Emma would have the chance.

"Dear God," I said, "At
least give her a choice."

But you've beaten me, Will,

because you're
stronger than I am.

You've won...

as you always do.

There's one more problem, Emma.

And it's possibly the
most painful one of all.

You love him desperately...

and the ultimate tragedy is
that you're going to find out

you can't ever stop.


if you let that woman
walk out of this house...

you're the biggest
fool since Adam.


Go away, Will, please.

Henrietta... Go away.

If a man wanted
to see the, uh...

folly of kings and the...

thrones of princes...

and if he wanted
to see those things...

with the woman that he loves...

how would he go about it?


I guess... he'd just ask her.

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